Cost of Living & Studies in Germany 2023

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The cost of living and studying in Germany is quite reasonable compared to other European countries. In fact, the cost of food, clothing, and living is about average for the European Union. You will need about €800 per month to cover your living expenses and accommodation.
How much does it cost to live as a student in Germany?
Expenses include the following:

  •  Personal expenses: rent, food.
  • Personal expenses: rent, food, clothing, books, telephone, etc.
  • Semester fees (see below).
  • Mandatory health insurance.
  • Tuition fees

As a student, you will need about 800 € per month to live in Germany. This amount varies from city to city. That’s why we advise you to choose a smaller city, which is usually less expensive. And, of course, this monthly cost will depend on how you live in Germany.

In addition, all students in Germany are entitled to student discounts. These discounts are valid for theater, museum, opera, and movie tickets, as well as for public swimming pools and other recreational and cultural venues.

Semester Fees

All university students are required to pay a semester fee each semester. This fee is generally $250 per semester but may vary depending on your university and the services it offers. It generally covers utilities such as food courts, dormitories, sports, and admission. These services cost $100 outside of the semester fee plan.

The student fee also covers public transportation. Please note that it is possible to travel by public transportation on the university campus for 6 months.

Tuition fees in Germany for an international student

You can study for free at German public universities. This is because, at these universities, the bachelor’s degree programs and some master’s and doctoral programs are funded by the government. You do not have to pay tuition fees, only the semester fees mentioned above.

Private universities, on the other hand, are funded by tuition fees. If you don’t get a scholarship to a private university, you will have to pay about €20,000 per year.

You can also receive financial aid (BAföG) as an international student. To qualify for this financial aid for your bachelor’s degree, you must be under 30 years of age. Similarly, you must be under 35 years old to receive aid for your master’s program. That said, exceptions may be made depending on the circumstances.

Student financial aid is divided in two. The first half of financial aid is a grant awarded by the government. The second half is in the form of a student loan that will be paid in monthly installments after graduation.

To receive BAföG, you must submit an application to the BAföG office in the city where you wish to study. You can find the contact information here.

Cost of student housing in Germany

Without a doubt, rent will make up a large part of your monthly expenses. Please note that rents tend to be higher in some large cities such as Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Mainz.

The cheapest student housing options in Germany are university residences and shared apartments. More than 40% of international students choose dormitories, which cost about €250 per month. Shared housing is popular with 30% of students in Germany and costs about €450 per month. Rents for private student housing can reach €750 per month.

In addition to rent, students may also have to pay utility bills separately. This is the case if these costs are not included in the rent. But to get an estimate of these costs, you can set aside:

  • 40 to 80 euros per month for electricity and water.
  •  50 to 100 euros per month for heating.
  •  About 35 euros per month for internet.
  •  Up to 5 euros per month for the collection of garbage collection.

Cost of food in Germany for students

In Germany, students spend about €200 per month on food. And to cut costs even further, it’s best to cook at home rather than eat out. If possible, you can get a meal plan from your university. For shopping, you can go to cheaper supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl, or Netto.

If you want to eat out from time to time, it will cost you between 8 and 14 euros in a small restaurant. In addition, a three-course meal for two people in a medium-sized restaurant will cost you about 50 euros.

Health insurance

If the health insurance you have in your home country is not valid in Germany, you will have to join a German health insurance program. In fact, many insurance companies offer discounts to students. If you are under 30 and have not studied for more than 14 semesters, you will pay €80 per month. Otherwise, you will have to pay 160 € per month or more.

Estimated monthly expenses

  • Monthly rent 300.
  • Food and drinks 170 € (in euros).
  • Clothing 60 € (in euros).
  • Health insurance 80 €.
  • Telephone, television and internet 30 €.
  • Culture, sports and leisure 75.
  • Stationery and miscellaneous expenses 80 €.

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